Today marks the death anniversary of father of Indian Cinema – Dadasaheb Phalke. The man who has been instrumental in giving to the billions of Indians, a dream to live, a cinematic experience to cherish, moments to drown their personal woes and live their lives within the flickering fantasies unfurling on the big screen.
Born on 30th April, 1870 in the small town in Maharashtra, few would have thought that this young man would one day take forward the legacies of his western counterparts to unprecedented heights in a British dominated country, India with India’s first Feature Film Raja Harishchandra in 1912. Today, India boasts of the big film industry in the world thanks to one man Dadasaheb Phalke – the man with the vision.
Today, Indian Cinema celebrates its 100th birth anniversary and what better way to do so than paying tribute to the very man who gave birth to the Indian Cinema?
Much before he became a filmmaker, Dadasaheb Phalke dabbled in various other professions and finally settling on cinema after previewing one the earlier foreign films of that era. That film shaped up his future. It was a tough journey for him as he embarked on one of his most cherished dreams – to make a film. In his career spanning more than 20 years, he made quite a number of films, his last film, a talkie Gangavataran coming just a few years before his death.
His career wasn’t limited to being a director. He was a producer as well as a writer of many films including short films, documentaries and features.
The government of India honored him posthumously in 1969 with the founding of Dadasaheb Award for lifetime contribution to Indian Cinema in his name. Every year, this award is handed out to deserving candidates who have contributed to Indian Cinema immensely.
Sadly, we’ll have to see if the Father of Indian Cinema gets any further recognition this year as the Indian Film Industry celebrates its 100th glorious year of its birth.